SHEisRARE in partnership with Women in Tech Global & Women in Tech South Africa brings you a special edition STEM Story to celebrate the “Women’s Month” in South Africa
Where do you work and your role title?
Girlhype Coders – CEO
Get To Know Me
Favourite ice-cream flavour: Lemon!
Wrap up in the shortest sentence possible what your role means.
I teach software engineering or coding skills to women and girls.
What is the interesting / challenging part of your work?
People think I know everything about computers, which I don’t! The challenging part is always getting the algorithm right.
What attracted you to choose a STEM field? How do you find navigating your career path as a woman in tech?
I started as a self-taught coder, fell in love with it and decided to start a school to teach more women. It’s a very male dominated industry and it can be lonely for women.
What is your biggest achievement that you are most proud of? How do you track and express your achievements in the workplace and beyond?
My two biggest achievements that I am proud of –
1. Winning a TechWomen award by the US State Department for my work in innovation and technology for women and girls education, as well as I spent six weeks in Silicon Valley on a mentorship program.
I was also chosen amongst the top 12 South African women to have a round table discussion with HRH the Duchess of Sussex on their Royal Highness’ visit to South Africa in 2019.
2. Girlhype coders has reached more than 300 000 girls all over the globe encouraging them to consider careers in Tech.
Who are your mentors or role models that helped you either directly or indirectly?
I started the first female coding school in Africa in 2003. There was no one to coach or mentor me.
I went with the flow and just did it as there was a huge digital divide and lack of women in STEM. Now that I am a Techwomen alumnae, I have a lot of women to look up to that I draw inspiration from.
How do you think women can be game-changers in time of crisis?
Women love doing business with purpose. They are compassionate and futuristic. Being agile and not set in old ways of doing things is extremely important and that’s were women come in.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Are there any technology resources that you would recommend?
I always make sure that I am current with the tech trends and I read software developments magazines and newsletters.
I make sure that I code for at least 2 hours a week. Back to basics is my philosophy. I would recommend that one should start learning how to code from codecademy.com because coding is a language of the future.
It’s your day off. What do you do to relax?
I hike a mountain or trail run or walk the ocean. 🍃 Moreover, I play computer games everyday to start my day, which brings relaxation to my brain. 🎮
What advice would you give to your 21 year old self?
Don’t be afraid to ask, they can either say yes or no
The second one would be stay open to criticism as you learn a lot from it.
What makes you RARE?
I am the only woman who was operating a coding school for women and girls in Africa since 2003, and that went on for almost 10 years before it became so popular. I also know so many coding languages because I keep learning new language all the time.
Want to know more about Baratang? Connect with her on LinkedIn
SHEisRARE x Women in Tech Global x Women in Tech South Africa